NYC-based composer and improvising bass guitarist Jochem van Dijk got his start in music by playing a homemade tea-chest bass with the highschool Dixieland band in his native town Apeldoorn, a suburban community in the east of The Netherlands. When the paper route brought the 1st bass guitar, the opening 8 bars of Take Five were studied diligently with his high school mates for 2 months; the Bb and Db from the Eb–Bb-Db 3-note bass figure in 5/4 were fingered on the the A-string, with the d-string tuned Eb for the time being, and off to the races it was. Numerous bands in his home country followed, with both covers and self penned songs. Playing bass with a circus band for 5 years in the summers led to a master’s thesis on Circus Music, sealing a Master’s Degree as an Ethnomusicologist. He wrote the music for a number of stage plays for Belgian Theater Amsterdam, an experience that greatly shaped his compositional thinking. Jochem currently lives and works in New York City.
Stateside highlights include his arrangement of Strange Fruit performed by the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 2005 at the Apollo Theatre, and the performance in 2009 of his pocket cantata Stuyvesant Reluctant at the Dia:Beacon. Since 2000 his compositions are featured on 5 cds by the Fay Victor Ensemble. Absinthe & Vermouth, the latest cd with all-original work, co-written with Fay Victor, was released in November 2013, to a 4-star review in Downbeat Magazine, amongst others earning accolades for its “strange and intricate forms–chiaroscuro theatrical pieces that tell tales of an individualist’s exuberant survival in dystopia.” 2014 saw the successful performance of an hour-long composition “Neighborhood Dynamics” in Roulette Brooklyn, commissioned by the Tricentric Foundation and premiered at the Tricentric Music festival alongside Anthony Braxton’s Falling River Nonet. In November 2014, JAN was relased on Greene Ave Music, a project with Super Natsuki Tamura, Ken Kobayashi and Keith Lewis featuring Jochem’s effect-driven bass work in a soundscape-like environment. In July/August 2015 he was an OMI Music fellow.
Besides the Fay Victor Ensemble, Jochem and Fay’s work has been performed among others by: Misha Mengelberg, Roswell Rudd, Tyshawn Sorey, Michael Attias, Michael Moore, Wolter Wierbos, Darius Jones, Tim Daisy, Kyoko Kitamura, Yoon Sun Choi, Tomas Ulrich, Fred Lonberg Holm, Vijay Iyer, John Hebert, Steve Hass, Ernst Glerum, Curtis Clark, Drew Gress, Tom Rainey and others.
Jochem performs currently around New York and had the privilege to share the stage amongst others with his wife Fay Victor, Marvin Sewell, Jason Nazary, Daniel Carter, Darius Jones, Jeremy Carlstedt, Federico Ughi, Michael ‘TA’ Thompson, Ras Moshe, Anders Nilsson, Nick Didkovsky, Evan Gallagher, Claire Debrunner, Timucin Sahin and many others.
He is currently working on several recording projects.